Addiction Stories

This is a series of addiction stories I’ve found helpful or meaningful in one way or another.

Idiot

By: Laura Clery

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This story is truthful and funny. Clery talks about her struggles with addiction and her journey to get clean. As someone who is not an addict, it gave me a lot of hope for the future with my partner. This was a good starter story for me.

Synopsis
“Now, in her first-ever book, Laura recounts how she went from being a dangerously impulsive, broke, unemployable, suicidal, cocaine-addicted narcissist, crippled by fear and hopping from one toxic romance to the next…to a more-happy-than-not, somewhat rational, meditating, vegan yogi with good credit, a great marriage, a fantastic career, and four unfortunate-looking rescue animals. Still, above all, Laura remains an amazingly talented, adorable, and vulnerable, self-described…Idiot.”

High Achiever

By: Tiffany Jenkins

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I could not put this book down. It’s amazing what this woman went through and was able to overcome.

Synopsis
“When word got out that Tiffany Jenkins was withdrawing from opiates on the floor of a jail cell, people in her town were shocked. Not because of the twenty felonies she’d committed, or the nature of her crimes, or even that she’d been captain of the high school cheerleading squad just a few years earlier, but because her boyfriend was a Deputy Sherriff, and his friends—their friends—were the ones who’d arrested her.”

My Fair Junkie

By: Amy Dresner

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

This is a very intense story, paired with comedy and vulgarity. Amy suffers from a mood disorder and addiction. She’s about as truthful and honest as they get. Sometimes a little too honest.

Synopsis
“Within months, she found herself in the psych ward–and then penniless, divorced, and looking at 240 hours of court-ordered community service. For two years, assigned to a Hollywood Boulevard “chain gang,” she swept up syringes (and worse) as she bounced from rehabs to halfway houses, all while struggling with sobriety, sex addiction, and starting over in her forties.”

Dry

By: Augesten Burroughs

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you appreciate good writing, this is beautifully told. The synopsis really says it all.

Synopsis
“Loud, distracting ties, automated wake-up calls and cologne on the tongue could only hide so much for so long. At the request (well, it wasn’t really a request) of his employers, Augusten lands in rehab, where his dreams of group therapy with Robert Downey Jr. are immediately dashed by grim reality of fluorescent lighting and paper hospital slippers. But when Augusten is forced to examine himself, something actually starts to click and that’s when he finds himself in the worst trouble of all. Because when his thirty days are up, he has to return to his same drunken Manhattan life―and live it sober. What follows is a memoir that’s as moving as it is funny, as heartbreaking as it is true. Dry is the story of love, loss, and Starbucks as a Higher Power.”

American Drug Addict: a memoir

By: Brett Douglass

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I strongly disliked this book. I thought the writing was bad and Douglass was very full of himself. In fairness, I returned the book about 25% of the way through.

Synopsis
“My story has everything: sex, death, pain, atheism, God, jail, marriage, divorce, heresy, homosexuality, physics, traffic fatalities, computer science, video games, cinnamon toothpicks, Barry Manilow, Nine Inch Nails, pornography, breasts, used tampons, strippers, venereal disease, abortion, prostitutes, AIDS, racism, suicide, infidelity, public nudity, anti-Semitism, marijuana, alcohol, pawn shops, drug dealers, needles, acid, ecstasy, crack, heroin, pain pills, withdrawal, interventions, rehabs, product tampering, road rage, vandalism, elderly abuse, grave desecration, arson, identity theft, burglary, armed robbery, and murder.

But more importantly, it’s about the despair of addiction and the absolute certainty that it can be overcome. Recovery is not simply abstinence, but a process of growing up. I spent my entire life searching for the key to long-term sobriety. I would like to share with you what I have learned.”

Tweak

By: Nic Sheff

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Tweak helped me better understand the mind of an addict and how impulsive they can be. It’s helped me make peace with the pain of addiction. He is deeply honest.

Synopsis
“Nic Sheff was drunk for the first time at age eleven. In the years that followed, he would regularly smoke pot, do cocaine and Ecstasy, and develop addictions to crystal meth and heroin. Even so, he felt like he would always be able to quit and put his life together whenever he needed to. It took a violent relapse one summer in California to convince him otherwise. In a voice that is raw and honest, Nic spares no detail in telling us the compelling, heartbreaking, and true story of his relapse and the road to recovery. As we watch Nic plunge into the mental and physical depths of drug addiction, he paints a picture for us of a person at odds with his past, with his family, with his substances, and with himself. It’s a harrowing portrait—but not one without hope.”

Girl Walks Out of a Bar

By: Lisa Smith

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Smith comes across as extremely entitled. The book is metaphor heavy and there’s not a lot I gained from reading it. However, I appreciate that this is her story.

Synopsis
“Girl Walks Out of a Bar explores Smith’s formative years, her decade of alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and her road to recovery. In this darkly comic and wrenchingly honest story, Smith describes how her circumstances conspired with her predisposition to depression and self-medication in an environment ripe for addiction to flourish. When her close-knit group of high-achieving friends celebrate the end of their grueling workdays with alcohol-fueled nights at the city’s clubs and summer weekends partying at the beach the feel-good times can spiral wildly out of control.”


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